Back to School Means Back to Church
Use the Power of New Year to Increase Attendance
People always ask us: “When is the best time to market the church?” – You may think it is Easter, or Christmas. Sure, those holidays fill the seats, but sadly, those 1st time attendees usually fade away after a week or two.
The best time to attract new visitors with the highest potential to stick with your church is the New Year’s season. People are seeking change more than ever during the New Year. They are more receptive to life changing sermon series.
For hundreds of years, our society has encouraged people to make resolutions and goals for the New Year, and we have just got in the habit of doing it.
If we want to attract new visitors at this crucial time of the year we MUST use marketing methods that tap into those life improvement goals. While campaigns centered on a new church launch or a “visit us this Sunday” message are great, this is the time of year to tap into people’s basic needs to improve their lives.
You can seize on this desire for change, and bring them what they truly yearn for—the life-transforming power of the gospel.
But first, it’s important to understand what’s going on at this crucial time.
This year 45-57% of adults will make one or more New Year’s resolutions.
Here are the top ten New Year’s resolutions, according to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology:
2. Get organized
3. Spend less, save more
4. Enjoy life more
5. Stay fit and healthy
6. Learn something exciting
7. Quit smoking
8. Help others
9. Fall in love
10. Spend more time with family
Family Counselor Robert Berlin says, “We make resolutions out of a sense of obligation … For hundreds of years, our society has encouraged people to make resolutions and goals for the New Year, and we have just got in the habit of doing it.”
January is when people are most disposed to change their lives for the better, create new goals, and complete things they’ve previously neglected.
Smart commercial marketers know this and capitalize on it. They make billions of dollars by approaching consumers when they’re most receptive. We all know “Black Friday” as the biggest sales day for the retail industry. In a similar way, New Year’s is the big profit generator for industries that promote fitness and other forms of self-improvement.
But the church offers the most valuable self-improvement program there is! Shouldn’t we be just as smart in using this once-a-year opportunity?
Here’s another interesting fact:
Half of all Americans who normally don’t attend church do attend at Christmastime.
So, in January that experience is fresh in their memories. You can see that there really is no better time of year to invite them to their local church.
Use the right strategies to attract seekers this New Year.
Jesus, Himself reached out to people at their most vulnerable moments. God has a habit of showing up when people are broken and need Him the most. We should do the same thing.
Transforming people is God’s job. Reaching out to them is ours. That means providing an environment where they can hear the message, and attracting them to that environment.
God has a habit of showing up when people are broken and need Him the most. We as a church should do the same thing.
What’s the point of preaching a great message to an empty room?
Step 1 is to get them into the seats by using proven marketing strategies.
Step 2 is to rely on the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
Smart secular companies use human psychology to sell their products every day. They know the things that motivate people to act.
Here’s a secret: Those same impulses motivate seekers as they’re making decisions on Sunday morning.
As smart marketers, we must use strategies that will bring the greatest return on our investment.
And here’s a basic marketing principle: People buy benefits. People will come to your church based on what it will do for them. So in your New Year’s marketing, make sure you describe, in detail, what advantages and benefits they’ll gain from attending YOUR CHURCH on a given Sunday.
Describe how your church can fulfill a need in their lives. Tell them how they can discover their purpose, improve their relationships, live healthier lives. This is all part of the power of the gospel. So, why not tell people about it?
Study your community, and get acquainted with its needs. Then craft a marketing message to address them. Mark 8:1-9 illustrates how Jesus fed the masses with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. He found a need and filled it. We should do the same in our communities.
How to make sure your New Year’s marketing has maximum impact.
Designing the best marketing to get people to come to church is not a guessing game. There is a formula, and if you follow it correctly you’ll harvest a bountiful crop of new visitors, ripe for the Holy Spirit’s work.
There are four basic points that will influence people to come to your church. Follow them in all your marketing endeavors, and you’ll achieve maximum effectiveness every time:
1. People must have a need to come to your church.
Complacent people don’t feel a need to attend church. But most people aren’t really satisfied with their lives. Develop a sermon series that addresses their anxieties, and they’ll come. Remember the top ten resolutions people make for the New Year? Pick one of them and develop a message around it. That’s a great way to ensure you’re meeting a need.
2. People must believe that your church will meet their needs.
Craft your sermon titles with words that mention the most common felt needs. Publish them, with action steps that can lead to results.
3. People must decide that your church Is the right church for them.
List the benefits your church offers in every marketing endeavor. Remember: PEOPLE DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. PEOPLE BUY BENEFITS.
4. People must decide the time to come to your church is now.
Create urgency with timely sermon series that people won’t want to miss. This should be a no -brainer for the first of the year.IT”S THE NEW YEAR—THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW!
There’s no mystery to getting people to attend your church. And it shouldn‘t be a back-burner issue that sits unresolved. People are hungry for change now. And now is the time to act.
Here’s the best thing about reaching out to people at New Year’s: Most of the groundwork has already been done for you. People are turning over new leaves, making commitments to better their lives. The time is right; people are ripe for the harvest. Don’t miss this once-a-year opportunity to reap what has already been sown.
Truth advertising can help you develop and design a postcard mailer that will get people’s attention and bring them to your church.
I founded Truth Advertising on the belief that all churches should have access to the same marketing expertise as secular companies, without having to pay extra for it. Our team can help your church grow. Give us a call and see if our ideas are a good fit for you. 1-844-TRUTHAD.
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